Jose Vizcaino (Courtesy of Jerry Coli / Dreamstime)

October 21, 2000: José Vizcaino wins Game 1 for Yankees in 12th inning

This article was written by Gene Gomes

Jose Vizcaino (Courtesy of Jerry Coli / Dreamstime)

In October 2000, for the first time in 44 years, two New York City teams faced off in the World Series. The New York Mets, who qualified for the postseason as the National League wild-card team, upended the San Francisco Giants and defeated the St. Louis Cardinals for the pennant. It was their fourth in franchise history. The New York Yankees stumbled badly in September, losing 15 of their last 18 games, but prevailed as the American League East champions. They survived a tough Division Series against Oakland and triumphed over Seattle to win their 37th pennant. Suddenly, New Yorkers had a long-awaited Subway Series.

The last all-New York City World Series was the Brooklyn Dodgers-New York Yankees match in 1956. It was won by the Yankees in seven games and was highlighted by Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game Five. Historically, there were 13 Subway Series played when the Dodgers, Yankees, and Giants teams were all in New York. The Mets and Yankees played each other in every regular season since interleague play began in 1997, but the World Series championship was now at stake.

Game One took place before 55,913 fans on Saturday night, October 21, at Yankee Stadium. Don Larsen threw the ceremonial first pitch to Yogi Berra, and Billy Joel performed the National Anthem.

Managers Bobby Valentine (Mets) and Joe Torre chose their top winning pitchers to start. Left-hander Al Leiter, two days shy of his 35th birthday, won 16 and lost 8 for the Mets in the regular season. Southpaw Andy Pettitte, 28, had a won-lost record of 19-9 for the Yankees. In the first inning, Pettitte retired Timo Pérez, Edgardo Alfonzo, and Mike Piazza in order. Leiter set down Chuck Knoblauch, Derek Jeter, and David Justice. Both starters remained in control through five scoreless innings, yielding only seven baserunners between them.

A baserunning blunder by Timo Pérez cost the Mets a run in the sixth inning. Pérez led off with a single to center. After two outs, first baseman Todd Zeile hit a long fly to left. The ball landed on the top of the padded wall and fell onto the warning track. Pérez, thinking it was a home run, slowed down near second base. There was no home-run signal by the umpire, and Pérez sped up trying to score. Jeter took the relay toss from Justice and made an off-balance throw to Jorge Posada, who tagged Pérez out at the plate. Valentine and others came forward to implore the umpires to rule the hit a home run, to no avail. Television replays showed it was the correct call.

In the Yankees’ turn in the sixth, ninth-place hitter José Vizcaino singled to deep short but was thrown out at second by Leiter on Knoblauch’s bunt. Jeter drew a walk, and Justice doubled to deep left-center field, scoring both runners. Leiter worked out of the inning, but the Yankees had a 2-0 lead.

The Mets responded right away. In the top of the seventh inning, sixth-place hitter Benny Agbayani singled with one out, rookie center fielder Jay Payton singled to center, and catcher Todd Pratt walked to load the bases. Right-handed batter Bubba Trammell pinch-hit for shortstop Mike Bordick. Trammell had been 7-for-18 against Pettitte in his career, and he came through with a two-run single. Pérez was retired by Pettitte on a bunt and the runners advanced to second and third. Right-hander Jeff Nelson replaced Pettitte to face Alfonzo, who bounced a slow grounder toward third base and beat Scott Brosius’s throw to first base, driving in Pratt. Piazza, in the DH role for this game, flied out to end the inning. The Mets were ahead, 3-2.

Leiter blanked the Yankees in their half of the seventh. Through seven innings Leiter allowed five hits and three walks, and struck out seven in a strong performance. Nelson retired the Mets in order in the eighth. John Franco protected the one-run lead as he set the Yankees down in the bottom half. The Mets had a chance to increase their lead in the ninth with Mariano Rivera on the mound. Rivera retired Payton but hit Pratt with a pitch. Shortstop Kurt Abbott hit Rivera’s second pitch to deep right field for a double, moving Pratt to third. Pérez hit a grounder to Vizcaino at second, who bobbled it before throwing to first for the out. The slow-footed Pratt held at third, and Rivera struck out Alfonzo to end the inning.

Mets right-handed closer Armando Benítez came in to pitch the ninth. The 6-foot-4-inch Benítez had 41 saves in the regular season and was an imposing presence on the mound. He retired Posada for the first out. Right fielder Paul O’Neill came up next. O’Neill recalled, “Going into that Series, I was a little banged up and hadn’t felt good at the plate. Then, I got behind right away and felt as if I were in an emergency mode from pitch one.”1 Benítez quickly got ahead with a 1-and-2 count and O’Neill stepped out of the box to reset. The clamorous crowd urged him on during every pitch. O’Neill managed to foul off four fastballs and ultimately drew a walk in a memorable 10-pitch at-bat.

Luis Polonia pinch-hit for Brosius and kept the rally going with a single. Vizcaino lobbed a single to left to load the bases. The crowd roared when Knoblauch lifted a fly ball to left field; Joe McEwing made the catch, and O’Neill tagged up and scored to tie the score, 3-3. Benítez struck out Jeter, but the Yankees had perhaps gained the momentum.

Rivera shut down the Mets in the 10th. Mets veteran lefty Dennis Cook began the bottom of the inning by walking Justice and Bernie Williams. Left-handed reliever Glendon Rusch was summoned to face Tino Martinez, and he delivered a wild pitch that enabled the runners to advance. Martinez popped out to short left field and Rusch intentionally walked Posada. With the bases loaded, Rusch induced O’Neill to hit into a double-play grounder, and that’s how the inning ended.

Left-hander Mike Stanton kept the Mets at bay with a scoreless 11th inning. Turk Wendell came to the rescue of Rusch in the bottom half, retiring pinch-hitter Glenallen Hill with two runners on base for the third out. Stanton continued the stellar relief work by the Yankees bullpen (five shutout innings) as the Mets went down in order in the top of the 12th.

With one out in the Yankees 12th, Martinez singled and Posada doubled. Wendell walked O’Neill intentionally to load the bases. Third baseman Luis Sojo fouled out amid the tumult in the stadium. With two outs, Jose Vizcaino stroked an opposite-field liner to left on the first pitch, scoring Martinez to win the game. The Yankees embraced on the field as the crowd erupted.

The hit was Vizcaino’s fourth of the game. The switch-hitter had been chosen by Torre over Sojo to play second base given his previous 10-for-19 hitting against Leiter.

The tense game lived up to all the fanfare and expectations. Benítez failed to slam the door in the ninth, while the Yankees relievers set down the last 11 Mets batters. Stanton was the winning pitcher and Wendell took the loss. It was the 13th consecutive World Series game victory for the Yankees.2 This 12inning affair was the longest World Series game by time in history, lasting 4 hours and 51 minutes, and ended at 1:04 A.M. Eastern time.3

The Yankees went on to capture their third consecutive World Series title four games to one, their 26th title. The Brooklyn-born 59-year-old Joe Torre was in his fifth season as Yankees manager and won his fourth title.

Derek Jeter was named World Series MVP. In an interview he said the Yankees fans would tell him, “Whatever you do, don’t lose to the Mets.” Jeter said, “We had a lot to lose. I’m serious: I would have moved right out of the city if we’d lost. You could have taken our three rings and thrown them out the window, as far as Yankees fans were concerned. I’m glad I played in a Subway Series, but maybe once is enough.”4

Al Leiter felt that the key to the Yankees’ winning the Series was the classic first game. Years later Leiter remarked, “If Paul (O’Neill) doesn’t get that walk there, I think the Mets are high-fiving as we’re walking off the field that night.”5 As of 2022, there hasn’t been another Subway Series. It could happen one year, and if it does, the 4 Train in the Bronx and the 7 Train in Queens will be ready and running.


Photo Credit

Jose Vizcaino (Courtesy of Jerry Coli / Dreamstime)



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted

Quinn, T.J. “1st Yank Stop Extra Special: Win on Viz’s RBI as Met pen fails to shut Subway door,” New York Daily News, October, 22, 2000: 888-889.

“Jose Vizcaino vs. Pitchers,”,

“Bubba Trammell vs. Pitchers,”,

“2000 World Series New York Mets @ New York Yankees Game 1 – You Tube,”, viewed September 28, 2022.



1 Mike Lupica, “The Walk That ‘Won’ the Yanks the 2000 World Series,” April 6, 2020,, , accessed September 6, 2022.

2 The Yankees won the final four games of the 1996 Series vs. Atlanta, swept all four games in 1998 vs. San Diego, and won all four games in 1999 vs. Atlanta. After winning the first two games in 2000, the streak was stopped at a record 14 games when they lost to the Mets in Game Three.

3 The length of this game has been surpassed three times: Game Three of the 2005 Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros (14 innings, 5 hours 41 minutes); Game One of the 2015 Series between Kansas City and the New York Mets (14 innings, in 5 hours 9 minutes); Game Three of the 2018 Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox (18 innings, 7 hours 20 minutes). In comparison, Game Two of the 1916 Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Brooklyn Robins lasted 14 innings in 2 hours 32 minutes. This was the only other World Series game to last 14 innings.

4 Tom Verducci, “The Toast of the Town,” Sports Illustrated Vault, November 6, 2000., accessed September 22, 2022.

5 Paul O’Neill and Jack Curry, Swing and a Hit: Nine Innings of What Baseball Taught Me (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2022), 134.

Additional Stats

New York Yankees 4
New York Mets 3
12 innings
Game 1, WS

Yankee Stadium
New York, NY


Box Score + PBP:

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